As a Flywheel Agency Partner, we were really excited to read about the launch of the Flywheel Migration plugin for WordPress. If you are not familiar with Flywheel and you need a hosting solution, don’t hesitate at all and head over to their website to meet the most advanced and powerful WordPress hosting solutions. It has just become so much easier to migrate your websites to Flywheel hosting by using their native migration plugin. We’ve tested this plugin and it’s everything that Flywheel claims to be.
Flywheel Migrations is a free plugin specifically developed for migrating WordPress websites to Flywheel’s hosting service. The migration process is very simple and with just a couple of clicks, your website(s) will be moved to Flywheel. It’s also completely free!
The plugin was developed with contributions from the BlogVault team which has one of the most reliable back-up, restore, staging, migration solutions for WordPress. The plugin is controlled from the WordPress Dashboard and it will migrate the entire content of your website, settings and database.
Even though an option exists for Flywheel to directly manage the migration of all your websites, this plugin makes it so simple that you’ll actually want to do it all on your own. Before you start using the Flywheel migrations plugin, you will need to create a Flywheel account. If you already have a Flywheel account, the next step will be to install the migrations plugin.
How to install Flywheel Migrations plugin?
Flywheel Migrations is a free WordPress plugin, available from the WordPress.org directory. Depending on your personal preference, there are a few ways to install this plugin to your website:
- Installing it from your WordPress website Dashboard using the Search plugins feature. From the WordPress Dashboard, navigate to Plugins -> Add New and type Flywheel Migrations in the search bar. Look for the following:
- Download the plugin zip file from the WordPress.org directory by following this link and install it by using the Upload plugin feature by WordPress.
- Install the plugin using FTP (File Transfer Protocol) or SFTP (Secure File Transfer Protocol).
After successful installation Activate the plugin.
Prepare a new site in the Flywheel Dashboard
Before we begin with the migration plugin, we have to prepare everything on the Flywheel side. Log in to your Flywheel account and click on the Create a new site button to deploy a new spot for your website on Flywheel’s server.
To create a new site, we need to go through two steps process:
- Select owner and plan.
- Setup your WordPress site details:
- Site name – enter the site name that will help you to easily find your site in the Flywheel Dashboard. For example purposes and later reference, we will call this the Uncode Demo.
- Temporary domain – this is a domain name assigned by Flywheel which you can use to access your site while it is in development. You can create your one name, most probably from your business or project name or leave it to Flywheel to generate this for you. This domain will have the .flywheelsites.com extension, and as part of our example, will look like this uncode-demo.flywheelsites.com.
- Create a WordPress user for yourself as the administrator – this user will have administrator privileges and the account will be created from the email address you used to register on Flywheel and the Username and Password you provide in this form.
- Click on Create site when you finish with filling out the form and wait for Flywheel to generate your new website. This will take just a few moments and Flywheel will let you know by email when the site is ready.
Now that you have everything ready on Flywheel, go back to your website and open Flywheel Migrations.
What information do you need to provide during the migration?
The first set of information we need to enter is regarding the Flywheel site we have created. You will need to provide the following information:
- Dashboard URL – This is a URL you see in the address bar when you open your newly created site on Flywheel. It looks something like this https://app.getflywheel.com/your-username/your-site-name or for our example https://app.getflywheel.com/our-agency-name/uncode-demo. Copy the URL and then paste it in this field.
- Temporary URL – Remember when we created a temporary domain for our website that ends with .flywheelsites.com? That is what we need to enter here. For our example, we are going to use uncode-demo.flywheelsites.com.
- Flywheel Username – enter your Flywheel username. Don’t use your email address in this field.
- Flywheel Password – enter the password you use for your Flywheel account.
- Is privacy mode enabled? – Every time you create a new website on Flywheel, privacy mode is activated by default. Privacy mode will hide your website behind a username and password that you can set through the website settings section. This is one of so many useful features offered by Flywheel and you can turn it on and off as you like. If your answer to this question is Yes, you will need to provide the Privacy mode username and password which we’ll cover in the next two steps.
- Privacy Mode Username – by default, this is “flywheel” but you have the freedom to change it. Enter your preferred username in this field.
- Privacy Mode Password – provide the Privacy mode password in this field. The migration plugin needs these credentials to be able to access a website that is protected by Privacy mode.
The second set of information is related to the source website that you want to migrate to Flywheel. Here, you will need to specify two things only:
- Any root directories you want to migrate? – The Flywheel Migrations plugin will transfer your website database and all files in the wp-content directory. If you want to move other directories from the website root directory specify them here.
- Is this a private site that’s password-protected? – If your source website has password protection like Flywheel’s Privacy mode, just enter those credentials here. The plugin needs them to be able to access the source website.
When you have all these fields filled out, you are ready to start the migration process. Click on the migrate button and let Flywheel do its magic.
Important note: Your website needs to be accessible from the internet in order for the Flywheel Migrations plugin to be able to migrate it. Websites developed in local environments can’t be migrated by using this plugin.
The Flywheel Migrations plugin will first check and validate the details you entered. If there are any errors, you will be returned to the form with information on what to fix and the same will be sent to the email address you entered as part of the very first step.
If everything is in order, the process will start soon and you will also be notified via email that the migration has been initiated.
The email will look like this:
The duration of the migration process will depend on the website’s size. You can keep monitoring migration all the way or just close the window and wait for an email notification confirming that the migration has been completed. The email will look like this:
Click on the button Go to Flywheel and you will be redirected to your Flywheel Dashboard and the website you have created. That is it. The migration is complete and you can proceed with the next steps. Add your domain and update your DNS to point to Flywheel, update themes or plugins, edit your website content or activate some of the useful Flywheel features like free SSL, CDN or any of their other great features. When everything is ready, remove Privacy mode from your website and showcase your beautiful, super fast, and secure website. If you encounter any problems during the migration process, Flywheel has one of the best support teams out there and they will be happy to help.
The Flywheel Migrations plugin is super simple to use and provides an effective solution to facilitate the migration of any WordPress website to the Flywheel hosting service. You don’t need to be a developer or an IT person to handle the migration process. If you follow our guide from beginning to end, you will manage to migrate your website all on your own. I hope you liked the article and learned something from it today. Let our team know if there are particular topics you need help with or would like to see us address in an upcoming guide!
Let us know in the comment your experiences with Flywheel Migrations plugin.